1. Improve your grades
Whether it’s resolving to score higher on your weekly reading quizzes or to go from a B to an A in math, try taking actionable steps to reach your goal. What is necessary to better succeed on those reading quizzes? Taking better notes? Going over assigned chapters twice? And what do you need to achieve that A? Staying after class to ask your teacher about the problems you missed? Visiting your school’s tutoring center? Improved grades don’t magically happen to us. Instead, we need to take the initiative to make them happen. So, go the extra step, and see how your grades improve.
2. Become a better student
The best students aren’t simply those with the best GPA. Beyond improving your grades, you can also resolve to become a better overall student this year. Participating more in class, asking teachers about extra credit opportunities, assisting classmates who could use extra help in a strong subject of yours. These are just a few ways that you can become a better student. What other ways come to mind?
Becoming a better student has many benefits. For example, voicing your thoughts by participating more in class can aid in developing your critical thinking skills. It also displays to teachers your interest in their course and your ability to lead. This likely won’t be forgotten when teachers calculate your final course grades, and it will also come in handy when you hope to receive a favorable letter of recommendation from them for college.
3. Focus on actual learning
Grades are important. Even more important, though, is actual learning. This means not just memorizing a vocabulary list for a quiz only to instantly forget it. It means internalizing lessons for greater purpose.
How do you go about this? Build a course schedule that will assist in a career you could imagine yourself pursuing. This might mean taking classes at your local trade school or taking AP classes so that you can test out of required courses in college to focus more on your major. Regardless, in all of your classes, always consider how the material can help you in practical, real-world applications.
4. Expand your mind
Don’t forget that there is also so much to learn beyond the subjects offered in high school. What new things would you like to try to learn or do this year? Learn how to code? How to tap dance? Or throw a pot on a ceramics wheel? The possibilities are literally endless, and so are the resources available to you. Research what kinds of classes are offered to high schoolers at your local community college. Perhaps your own school even offers enriching clubs you don’t yet know about. And, of course, there is no shortage of books, documentaries, and podcasts out there (many of them often free) to assist you in expanding your knowledge, too.